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(2011-05-13 23:47:55)



分类: 英汉对照读物

Elephant 大象




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An elephant can uproot a tree or pick a flower without bruising a petal. It thunders through the forest but it can balance its fantastic weight on one foot before a circus audience. 大象能够拔起大树,或者摘下小花而不损伤花瓣。它吼声如雷,响彻整个森林,但是,面对看马戏团的观众,它能用一条腿平衡它那难以想象的笨重身躯。


The elephant is the largest living land mammal, but will respond to the friendship of a small boy. 大象是现有的最大的陆地哺乳动物,但是,对小孩的友好举动也会礼尚往来。


Ancestors of modern elephants lived on all continents except Australia. Ancient Asians were known as the woolly mammoth. This hairy beast stood about 10 feet tall and had spiral tusks. 现代大象的祖先生活在除澳大利亚以外的所有大洲。古代亚洲大象叫毛象。这种毛茸茸的野兽站着有大约10英尺高,象牙呈螺旋状。


The ancestors of American Indians probably knew the mastodon. It was about the same size as the woolly mammoth but had straight tusks and less hair. Today, however, only tow species of elephants exist--- the Indian and the larger African. 美洲印第安人的祖先大概知道乳齿象。它的个儿和毛象差不多,但是,它的象牙是直的,毛也要少些。然而,现在,只有两种大象还生存着:印度大象和个儿较大的非洲大象。


Asian elephants are gray but darker than their African cousins. Most African elephants have tusks, ears, and a trunk bigger than the Asian elephants have. 亚洲大象为灰色,但比它们的非洲同类的颜色要深一些。大多数的非洲大象的象牙、耳朵和鼻子都比亚洲大象的大。


It might be awkward for you to have a nose that touched the ground. (1) But the elephant finds its trunk a very handy tool. Nostrils at the end of the trunk are used in breathing. When an elephant walks along the bottom of a river (it can’t swim), the tip of the trunk is held above the water. 如果你的鼻子能接触到地面,那会令人十分尴尬。但是,大象却发现它的鼻子是一件非常方便的工具。鼻子尖上的鼻孔用来呼吸。当大象沿着河床走的时候(它不会游泳),它的鼻尖举在水面上。


Below the nostrils in the open end of the tube-like trunk is at least one tiny finger-like piece jutting up. The elephant uses the “finger” to pick up small objects. An elephant picks up the masses of plant food it eats (2) in its hollow trunk and then curves the trunk into its mouth, dropping the food down its throat. It drinks water the same way --- sucking up 40 gallons daily! 在像管状象鼻的开口一端的鼻孔的下面,至少有一个突出的手指一样的小东西。大象用这个“手指”拾起小物体。大象将它吃的大量的植物食物放在空空的象鼻里,然后,卷起象鼻,伸到嘴里,把食物送进喉咙。它用同样的方式喝水:每天喝40加仑!


Poking out from elephants’ mouths under the trunk are two long tusks. They are enlarged teeth, like the fangs of a cat but much larger. The tusks are used for defense, and, like teeth, they may wear down or be broken off. 两根长长的象牙从鼻子下面的大象的嘴里伸出。它们是长大了的牙齿,像猫的尖牙齿,但要大得多。象牙用于防御;和牙齿一样,它们也会磨损,或者脱落。


An elephant’s call is a trumpeting sound that echoes through the forest or across the grasslands. 大象的叫声是一种咆哮声,在森林中回响,或者穿越草地。


An elephant’s massive body is supported by four legs shaped like thick tree trunks. Usually five hoof-like toenails grow on each foot. An elephant’s knees are in the middle of the legs like a man’s (the knees of most mammals are tucked into the top of the legs where they join the body). But full-grown elephants are so heavy they often prefer not to bend their knees to lie down on the ground and so they sleep standing up. 大象的庞大身躯由四条像粗大树干的腿支撑着。每个脚掌上通常长着五个钩状趾甲。大象的膝盖在腿的中部,和人类的相象(大多数的哺乳动物的膝盖都长在腿的上部,在那儿与身体相连接)。但是,完全成熟的大象非常重,它们常常不愿弯曲膝盖,躺到地上去,所以,它们站着睡觉。


Elephants are like man in more ways than their knees. They live in groups. They defend a wounded member of the herd. Within the herd, they appear to have rules and customs that govern each member, from the old female leader to the youngest baby. 除膝盖外,大象在更多方面像人类。它们成群地生活。它们保护大象群中受伤的成员。在大象群中,它们好像有制约每个成员的规矩和习惯,从年迈的雌大象领袖到最小的大象都受此制约。


A baby drinks its mother’s milk for almost a year and stays close to its mother for five years. Elephants reach adolescence at about age 14 and live to be 65 or 75 years old. And, like man, they lose most of their hair as they grow older. 小象喝母亲的奶几乎要喝一年,在母亲身边呆5年。大象大约在14岁时进入青春期,生活6575年。而且,像人类一样,当它们变老时,大部分毛都会落掉。


Elephants have been used by man for almost 4,000 years. First they were killed for their ivory tusks, and the ivory was used to make beautiful carvings and tools. Then they were used like tanks, carrying warriors into the midst of battle. They also served as transportation for kings who rode inside an ornamented chair-like box called a howdah. 人类使用大象几乎有4000年了。最初,猎杀大象以获取象牙,象牙用来制作漂亮的雕刻品和工具。后来,把大象当成坦克使用,携带战士进入战斗。大象也被用作国王的交通工具,国王坐在一种叫做“象轿”的装饰堂皇的状如椅子的盒子内。


The rare white elephants were highly prized by royalty. Other kings used elephants to pull chariots. Elephants then became “workhouses.” In Burma, they have been used for centuries to move heavy logs of teak. And, finally, elephants served double-duty in circuses. At night 3, they shifted heavy equipment. And by day they delighted audiences with their performances. 罕见的白象受到王室成员地高度重视。其他的国王们使用大象拉四轮礼车。大象后来变成了“工作室”。在缅甸,许多世纪以来,大象被用来运送沉重的柚木木料。最后,大象在马戏团里干两份工作。晚上,它们运送道具。白天,它们表演节目,取悦观众。


Through all these centuries, elephants have never become truly domesticated. They breed in captivity, but elephant handlers prefer to capture fresh elephants instead of breeding them. A female elephant cannot work during the almost two years before her offspring is born. And the young are not strong enough to work until they are about 14. 经过所有这些世纪,大象并没有真正地被驯化。它们被圈养,但是,驯象师宁愿捕猎新的大象,也不愿哺养大象。在幼象出生前,雌大象几乎有两年不能干活。而幼象在14岁前,身体不强壮,无法干活。


Wild elephants, however, can be trapped fairly easily, and they quickly become tame enough to obey their trainer’s commands. Elephants react to directions given by a sharp rod poked into their thick skin. They also respond to spoken orders and seem to learn man’s language. 然而,比较容易猎获野象,而且它们很快就会便得温驯,听从训象师的命令。用尖锐的棍子戮进大象的厚皮,发出指令,大象会有所反应的。它们也听从口头的命令,似乎在学习人类的语言。


Elephants often become very fond of their trainers and may become unhappy if they are replaced. You may have heard the saying that elephants never forget. Like people, they remember those who have been good to them. 大象常常会喜欢它们的训象师,如果换了人,便会变得不高兴。你也许听说过这个谚语:大象决不忘恩负义。像人一样,它们铭记善待它们的人。



1.       It might be awkward for you to have a nose that touched the ground.

句中的It是形式主语,后面的for you to have a nose that touched the ground才是真正的主语。在真正的主语中,you是不定式短语的逻辑主语。一般说来,能够担当真正主语的必须是:1)不定式(如本句),2)名词,3)从句。再比如:It is dangerous to play with fire.(玩火是危险的。---- 不定式短语)/ It is useless crying over the spilt milk.(覆水难受。----动名词短语)/ It has become fashionable that wealthy families send their children to study abroad.(殷实之家送孩子们到国外学习,已成时尚。---- 从句)

2.       An elephant picks up the masses of plant food it eats…

句中的it eats是定语从句,修饰前面的先行词food 引导定语从句的关系代词which (that)因为在定语从句中做动词宾语,所以可以省掉。

3.       At night, they shifted heavy equipment. And by day they delighted audiences…

注意:句中的短语At nightby day中都没有使用任何冠词。这是习惯用法。再比如:at home(在家中), at work(在干活), at school(在上学), at sea(在海上),  by train(乘火车), by plane(乘飞机), by water(取道水路), by air(坐飞机), in bed(在床上), in fact(事实上), on foot(步行), on fire(着火)。




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